Johnny Marr was so excited about working on ‘Bond’ theme he had to call his mum

"Guess what I've just done, mum!"

Johnny Marr has revealed that he was so excited about working on the No Time To Die James Bond theme that he had to call his mum.

In addition to working with Billie Eilish and her brother/producer Finneas on the theme song, the former Smiths guitarist wrote the soundtrack for the 25th big screen outing for 007 with his longtime collaborator and soundtrack legend Hans Zimmer.

Speaking to his friend, writer and broadcaster Jon Savage in the latest issue of Rolling Stone UK, Marr discussed playing the famous Bond riff on guitar for the No Time To Die theme.


“That really was a highlight,” he said, laughing. “When I did it, I went and phoned my mum, ‘Guess what I’ve just done, Mum!”

He also talked about how working with Zimmer on the scores for both No Time To Die and Christopher Nolan’s 2010 action sci-fi Inception changed his writing and inspired a more cinematic type of production.

“I’d say that working with Hans has brought that in,” he told Savage. “It’s made me double down on some things because I didn’t realise until I was told that guitars in films were a no-no for a few decades because of some atrocities that were committed in the 80s.”

He continued: “Inception changed that. It was such a big movie – after that, [in] so many television adverts you would hear my riff and Hans horns. Also, because I used a 12-string guitar on all of the [scores], it’s got me back to playing the 12-string.”

Billie Eilish (R), Finneas O'Connell (C) and Johnny Marr (L) perform during The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on February 18, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Billie Eilish (R), Finneas O’Connell (C) and Johnny Marr (L) perform during The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on February 18, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

In October, Marr spoke to NME about his work on the No Time To Die soundtrack.


“I’m making a lot of nasty, nasty noises on it,” he said. “I’ve had this thing with the last few films that I’ve worked on where I am determined to create an atmosphere with the sonics of the guitar that can’t be done by the most amazing synthesizer players in the world – nor the most amazing sound designers.”

He continued: “There are always people around Hans who are doing the most amazing things with cutting-edge technology, and I’m always so happy when my idea is the one that gets across the line. I just stand my ground in these meetings and say, ‘I can do that, I can make the most spooked-out, horrible, creepy, disturbing noise’ to these people that have been doing it for 25 years, and it becomes a point of pride that I’m doing it on the guitar.

“I’ve even done it on a few movies that people don’t even know I’m on. It’s all about the wires and electricity – you just can’t design it.”

Earlier this week, Marr responded to comments made by his former Smiths bandmate Morrissey, who had asked Marr to stop mentioning him when giving interviews.

In a post on his Morrissey Central website, the controversial singer-songwriter wrote: “This is not a rant or an hysterical bombast. It is a polite and calmly measured request: Would you [Marr] please stop mentioning my name in your interviews?

“Would you please, instead, discuss your own career, your own unstoppable solo achievements and your own music? If you can, would you please just leave me out of it?”

Morrissey continued: “The fact is: you don’t know me. You know nothing of my life, my intentions, my thoughts, my feelings. Yet you talk as if you were my personal psychiatrist with consistent and uninterrupted access to my instincts.”

In response, Marr took to Twitter and directly addressed Morrissey, writing: “An ‘open letter’ hasn’t really been a thing since 1953, It’s all ‘social media’ now. Even Donald J Trump had that one down.

He added: “Also, this fake news business… a bit 2021 yeah?”

You can read the full exchange here.